Retreat, Refresh, Recommit, Renew!

What is a retreat?

Time away to spend focusing on your spiritual relationships – with yourself, with God, with your family or community (in this case, your SCC).

Taking time out from the ordinary to create the opportunity for the extraordinary.

Example retreat activities: reflecting, discussing, listening, praying, private time, group time, celebrating, eating, playing, laughing.


Why should SCCs go on retreat?

To refresh the spirit of your group.

To develop your relationships as community.

To reflect on the blessing you have been to each other.

To determine how to go forward together from where you are.

To gain strength as a group and recommit to each other.

When is your SCC ready for a retreat?

 You have been together at least a year.

There has been a significant change in membership within the last year.

It has been a year since your group has discussed its direction or vision.

There is a sense of stagnancy in sharing or growth.

There is a general weariness of members, a “blah” feeling to the group.

There is a desire for “something more” for your group.

Example retreat goals: stretching beyond current level, naming what unifies us, healing what divides us, recreation, redirection, renewal.

How do we plan a retreat?

1)                  Attend one of the offered retreats for SCCs (already planned, geared toward SCC needs and goals, inexpensive, overnight or day version, great for “first-timers”, facilitators provided).

2)                  Plan a private retreat for your group (agree on needs or goals, hire a facilitator and facility).  Having an outside facilitator is highly recommended.

3)                  Attend a retreat together at one of the many retreat houses in Indiana.

4)                 Create a retreat as a group that you present to each other (decide on a theme or topic, obtain guides or resources, split up responsibilities).


Current 2003 Retreat Dates:

September 20-21        Overnight Retreat at Waycross in Brown County

October 11                  Day Retreat at St. Monica Parish Meeting Center

Sharing Questions: Retreats

After reflecting on the retreat hand out, how would you assess your group’s “readiness”?  – is it time for a retreat? – why or why not?

 ·          6 yrs going – no retreat  yet

  • several just learning about possibility of retreat
  • 2 retreats so far, both with facilitator
  • 2 retreats, both planned on own, now ready for facilitator lead
  • yes: blahs, new group, need to reinforce commitment
  • no: too hard to commit so far ahead, lack of commitment, too busy
  • no, just did one in the fall
  • yes, group ready but struggling to have regular meeting time
  • yes, ready for something more, something new, celebrate
  • maybe – new members to add before or after retreating?
  • No – added new members, need time to rebuild, currently in holding pattern
  • Yes – lack of direction, unmotivated, unfocused


What would your group want to accomplish on a retreat? – what would your goals be? – what topics or themes would most interest your group? 

  • Group dynamics – how to communicate better
  • Learn to get deeper in sharing
  • Sense of bonding and commitment
  • Group dynamic issues
  • Barriers to deeper sharing
  • Clarify focus
  • Bonding experience
  • Set vision for the future
  • Renewal
  • Resolve issues
  • Connecting faith and life
  • Understanding and tolerance
  • Time to get to a deeper level of sharing and commitment
  • “We are Family” celebrate what we are to each other


  • Inspirational retreat
  • Service project retreat
  • Service project built in
  • Retreat with all SCC groups


  • Direction for SCC – new materials
  • Specific topic and go very deep into that, not a “get to know you”
  • Centering prayer and contemplative prayer
  • Labyrinths
  • Informative retreat


What are the challenges or barriers which make it difficult for your group to go on a retreat together? 

  • Scheduling – 5
  • Intimidation, uncomfortable – 5
  • Child care – 3
  • Length of time – 2
  • Cost – 2
  • Don’t know what is available – 2
  • Don’t understand why


  • Some work on weekends, may never be able to retreat
  • Can’t get everyone to be there
  • Finances can be a barrier
  • Schedules
  • Intimidation
  • Fear of commitment
  • May require more “bearing of the soul” than what the person wants
  • Sharing with group in front of outside facilitators (strangers)
  • Child care
  • Making it a priority
  • Coming up with a date that works
  • Schedules
  • Babysitting
  • Intimidation of members
  • Difficult for all members to commit to a retreat
  • Reluctance, hesitancy, fear
  • Why?
  • Cost prohibitive
  • Time away from other family members
  • Not knowing what is available

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